For those who don’t have a clue what Cine70 is the team of craft-men behind what, I’m convinced, have been the most ambitious commercial campaigns in Peru so far.
**If curious I’m attaching a few bellow.
And how they work is extremely interesting, actually: it’s an agency conformed by directors who manage and lead their own projects. As new projects are presented to Cine, they are directed to the director (ajá!) who fits with the profile and style the company is looking for.
I’ve had a chance to see some of them in action, and what caught my attention from the start is how different they all are; every director is artsy in their own way. Vampi, for instance, is edgier than the rest (you would look for him for a more of a music-clip style campaign), the “space monkeys” are a Spanish duo who appear to be a bit crazy at times (their commercials have a twist of day-to-day comedy), and Ricardo Maldonado, in the top left of the picture above, is the head of my favorite Peruvian movie: Asu Mare.
Now, moving on with the directors…watching them talk is a spectacle of it’s own. If you’d ask me what’s one thing they have in common, it’d have to be their perfectionism, which I just think is super cool and rare when the final product is so commercial. Something I’ve noticed though, is that as they are all so unique, the way they structure their work also is; this is a huge challenge for those bellow them who follow orders and deadlines.
By this I hope you understood that they are not alone, of course. They’ve got a team! There are sub-squads designed for every single part of the creative process: Directors, Co-directors, production, pre-editing, post-production, Storyboard artists, and references (where I come in)—all linked in a way to make their client happy.
Oh, and then there’s the client: they set the rules and expectations according to their budget and vision. In just this week I’ve been able to participate in Movistar phone line, Casino cookies, Mafre insurances, Opal stain remover, Pizza Hut campaigns and a bunch of others my frustrated memory won’t manage to fetch.
Our job can be narrowed down to being the first stage in the creation process of the company, way before the projects are approved: we search for the references that make up the “devoluciones”.
I’m sorry, let’s stay in the same page here.... What “devoluciones” are can be thought of as the creative prototype/pitch for the client to tangibly envision what they are investing in before they do. The “devos” normally have a 3-day deadline, and are worked on parallel to others. This just means some days work can be busier than usual.
I’ve noticed how some “devoluciones” are harder to piece together than others: the client has worked with an agency beforehand to create the script and have an idea of what they wish to convey. Based on that plan, the “devoluciones” are separated accordingly. Tone, acting style, frame, and transitions are only some of the typical sections for examples we have to look for—examples in WORK that has already been done. So yes, I’ve been consuming video, after video, after video to make quality “devo’s” happen along the whole department.
Still, to leave things clear, the role of my group, is to act as film-content encyclopedias to each plan; automated ones that directly replicate what the client explains after one, two, or maybe manifold unfitting finds.
Also, as I mentioned before, I’m constantly surrounded by directors who refuse to shut up, in a positive way. Their conversations fascinate me: they criticize movies in the strangest aspects. They are direct, and call people on their sh*** when they’re not productive. Finally, they’re persistently loud and won’t stop shouting-out random “devo” requests: “a clip of a girl subtly holding a guy’s hand!” “A commercial that reveals a long shot surprise to the audience at the end!”
I swear that along each new shout-out I get an insight into how a video manager thinks and how there’s a whole world to it I was barely aware of!
The highlight of this experience is definitely the social aspect. Through this process I’ve practiced taking initiative to ask, and to engage in conversation. My favorite question is if people like their job, and so far I have not received a “no” for an answer :). Occasionally, when someone finds something that is precise for what we need to portray, or a clip that simply makes them crack up in laughter, being able to share it with people who are genuinely interested, can be extremely uplifting.
As an intern, all you can do is try to add value where you can. The first day in Cine70 was hard because I knew there were areas I could help with I wouldn’t necessarily be able to touch (doing the final keynote pitch, editing, etc.). This wouldn’t change even if I offered myself to do so (believe me, I did) because other people in there are other industry live for it, and I respect that completely.
However, there’s something to be said about earning your spot, because as the boss explicitly said in my interview: “no one will tell you what to do! The internship is what you make of it”.
What I’ve figured is, that although Cine70 until now has been warm and welcoming, letting me participate all around—to the point where I’ve been an extra, helper, and Instagram photographer at 5 am at a pizza recording--it’s also my chance to play the CONSUMER over producer. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn from OBSERVING, to analyze what I like and what I don’t like about how every role in the Peruvian film and TV industry works and how I plan to make it my own as I design my future. To ask questions, and to question myself. To enrich my mind with content and MUSE.
To act like a sponge, yes! That’s the plan.